Essex dog walkers are among tens of thousands who have become more fearful about having their pets stolen.

More than 11,000 East of England residents responded to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Survey about dog thefts.

It follows recent dog thefts in Little Dunmow and Halstead.

Over 27,000 people across England and Wales said they knew somebody who had a dog stolen, 418 have had a dog stolen over the last year, and 28 percent thought local police “do not regard pet theft as a high enough priority”.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “In Essex, we have had a low number of reported dog thefts, but even those are too many for those affected.

“I am pleased to see Essex Police's efforts to find stolen dogs.

“We need to do more to strengthen the law, change how pet theft is reported and ensure you all know how to keep your dogs safe and protected."


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